RCMP continue investigation into fiery crash

January 20, 2010

Photo by Jillianne Hamilton

The autopsy results for a male victim involved in a fiery collision on Tuesday are expected to be released later this week.

RCMP investigators have several leads as to the identity of the man; however, they are awaiting further details before officially identifying the victim.

“Results are due tomorrow afternoon or Friday morning,” said District 4 RCMP officer Sgt. Paul Ouellette, who added the autopsy will be conducted tomorrow in St. John.

Around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, local emergency personnel were called to the scene of the fire after a vehicle struck a fuel tank beside the town of Sackville’s public works garage, located in the industrial park. The fire burned for more than an hour and cut off electricity to several businesses in the area as it burned through electrical wires.

Rolling black clouds of smoke could be seen from miles away in every direction.

The vehicle was traveling east on Crescent Street and didn’t make the turn, Ouellette said.
“Then the vehicle drove straight into one of the fuel tanks. I’m not going to speculate right now why that happened.”

The RCMP used information they gathered from the charred vehicle to track down the owner, he said.
“Based on that, we know there is a gentleman from Sackville who is missing. We presume that it was him that was in the vehicle.”

Dental records will be used to confirm the identity of the victim, he said.
“We’re not prepared to release the name in the meantime.”

Sackville Fire Chief Craig Bowser said 28 to 30 firefighters responded to the fire.
“It took about an hour to knock it down until it was safe for us to move in closer,” he said.

The public works building wasn’t damaged in the fire, he said.
“There was significant damage to the gasoline tank that was hit and ruptured and the diesel tank next to it. It sustained some heat damage.”

The fire department responded to the call in under four minutes and was not impeded by the traffic caused by industrial park employees evacuating the area, Bowser said.
“That’s a very good response time for a volunteer fire department.”

(This article was written and published on the Tribune-Post website on January 20, 2010.)

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